German foreign minister in Turkey to discuss detained citizens and EU refugee funding

German foreign minister in Turkey to discuss detained citizens and EU refugee funding

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas will pay a two-day visit to Ankara today, preluding a scheduled two-day visit by Turkish

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Photo: Reuters

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas will pay a two-day visit to Ankara today, preluding a scheduled two-day visit by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Germany on the 28th of September.

Mr Maas will meet with his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu, to discuss a raft of issues, with Turkey’s burgeoning economic crisis to be foremost on the agenda. The crisis has seen the lira fall by over 20% in the last few weeks alone and inflation rise to a 15-year high of 18% in August.

While relations between the two countries have been strained for the past two years, Turkey’s economic problems could provide an opportunity for rapprochement. Indeed, Ankara could turn to Berlin and Europe for financial aid, especially as the US is likely to block any request for IMF assistance.

While a European bailout for Turkey could strain ties with Washington, an economic meltdown in country could jeopardise Ankara’s willingness to house Syrian refugees. Even more concerning for Brussels, however, is the potential for a Turkish economic collapse to spill into an already vulnerable Europe.

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